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In Karachi, en masse killing of stray dogs continues as per routine

Updated May 03, 2017

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Dogs lie lifeless after authorities culled them in Karachi's Saddar area. ─ Photo by Syeda Rabab Jaffer
Dogs lie lifeless after authorities culled them in Karachi's Saddar area. ─ Photo by Syeda Rabab Jaffer

At least a dozen​ stray dogs were reportedly killed on Wednesday near Aram Bagh in Karachi's Saddar area, which falls under the jurisdiction of Karachi Municipal Corporation's (KMC) South District.

A university student named Syeda Rabab Jaffer first reported today's mass culling on a Facebook group where citizens post updates and happenings around the city.

Jaffer was on her way home from her university when she spotted the dogs' lifeless bodies dumped on the road in Aram Bagh, she told Dawn.com.

Stray animals are rounded up and killed en masses on a routine basis to curb their growing population around the city. Municipal laws allow authorities to either poison or shoot stray dogs with impunity, a practice which has been widely condemned as being cruel and inhuman.

"Some of them were just lying with their eyes opened," Jaffer said, narrating the horror she, as an animal lover, experienced.

"I had seen them kill stray dogs like this in the news but I had never witnessed the sight myself," Jaffer added.

Examine: Until the last dog dies

Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) spokesperson Ali Hassan, while confirming the incident, said the authority had nothing to do with the culling that took place today.

He further said Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar has "expressed concerns" regarding the culling.

"The methods to control the population of stray animals have changed around the world. We are working to adopt those methods," Hassan said, adding the mayor has condemned the current practice in place.

The KMC spokesperson further said that there are 20 government organisations "running" Karachi district, none of which can override the other when it comes to implementing regulations in another jurisdiction.

"They all have their own regulations so our hands remain tied. However, we are trying," Hassan added.

He said the mayor is working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private hospital to better manage the overall population of stray dogs in the city.

However, Mustafa Ahmed, an animal rescuer and activist who has extensive experience in animal welfare, expressed little hope in the MoU's effectiveness.

"Every new mayor who comes into power introduces their own regulations, which many times translates into scrapping the existing one," Ahmed added, saying while he welcomes the city management's efforts for the cause, a permanent change in the law on the provincial level is needed.